25th Anniversary of the Jacques Cartier Manor House Museum

    SAINT-MALO, France, June 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Ambassador to
France, Mr. Marc Lortie, unveiled today a commemorative plaque in the company
of the Mayor of St-Malo, Mr. René Couanau, to mark the 25th anniversary of the
inauguration of the Jacques Cartier Manor House Museum.
    Last residence of the illustrious navigator, the first European to gain
access to the interior of the North American continent through the St-Lawrence
River, the manor was acquired in 1978 by the Society of the Friends of Jacques
Cartier, a non- profit Canadian organization.
    Used as a farm house for many generations, the manor was in very poor
condition and its various owners, mostly farmers, had done little to maintain
it. The roof which had been damaged during the Second World War leaked and
water was seeping through the walls. In addition the main beams had wide
cracks and in the oldest part of the building the structure was ready to
    The manor's owner, a farmer, was preparing to modernize the interior of
the building with the danger of irreversibly altering major archaeological
vestiges of the Jacques Cartier House, built in the 16th Century.
    The restoration of the manor and the design of a future museum began
immediately after relocating the former owner to a new farm nearby. The
project was placed in the hands of the chief architect of Bâtiments de France,
Ille-et-Vilaine. Once the urgent work was completed, the main building,
composed of three parts, was restored on the basis of existing documents.
First, the oldest part (early 16th century) used as a stable and a kitchen,
the central part built at the time of Cartier and a more recent addition (late
19th Century).
    The restoration included the annex and the surrounding walls. The rooms
of the main building, where Cartier lived, were refurnished to recall the
ambience that prevailed when it was occupied by its famous owner. It took
eight years to complete the full restoration of the property.
    Dedicated to the history of the discovery of Canada and the New World,
the Jacques Cartier Manor House Museum was officially opened in 1984 during
the 450th anniversary celebration of Cartier's voyages to Canada. Since its
opening, it has been visited by more than 250 000 visitors from all parts of
the world.
    Today, the manor is a major cultural center in Brittany and is open year
round. It has organized many exhibitions, conferences and artistic events for
varied audiences, including a large number of students.
    This summer, to highlight the 25th anniversary celebration, a spectacular
Sound and Light show on Cartier and his voyages will be presented from
Thursday to Saturday night, from June to August 2009. This remarkable
production will recall the unique place of Jacques Cartier in Canadian history
and in the exploration of North America and the New World.
    Other activities will underline this anniversary, including a
retrospective exhibition of the restoration of the buildings and of the
cultural events held over the years. The program will be completed with a
variety of artistic performances, from popular and classical music to 16th
century theatre and dance.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Mélanie Gerligand; Guy Ducharme,
011-33-2-9940-9773, mobile: (514) 512-9816

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